Curating the Networked Image: Circulation, Commodification, Computation

PhD Thesis


Tedone, G. (2020). Curating the Networked Image: Circulation, Commodification, Computation. PhD Thesis London South Bank University School of Arts and Creative Industries https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.9498z
AuthorsTedone, G.
TypePhD Thesis
Abstract

In the context of today’s networked culture, where artworks and photographs circulate online alongside other commodities and digital objects, online users and data aggregation tools partake in the selection, filtering and dissemination of visual content. The conflict of differentiation emerging from within the shared space of the Internet is at once aesthetic, social and political. At the core of this research is the question of how the curation of networked images can produce cultural value and social meaning in the face of such a conflation of interests and agendas. The study argues for the necessity to reconsider the conventional paradigm of art curating in light of these shifting conditions and in response to the emergent discipline of digital curation, and it repositions the role of the curator and the work of networked images within this accelerated and evolving field.
To this end, the research employs a practice-based mode of inquiry grounded in curatorial work, experimenting with three case studies that challenge existing curatorial paradigms through a reconsideration of the traditional object of curating, the context of curating and the agents partaking in its process. The documentation from the case studies is gathered in the memory stick accompanying this dissertation that constitutes an integral part of this research.
The practical analysis at the heart of this thesis shows that conditions of online circulation, commodification and computation impact both the operations of networked images and the renewed procedures of curating within an online context where the logics of profit and aesthetics coalesce. While networked images are identified as ‘rich images’ by virtue of their participation in processes of valorisation and commodification, the new role and practice of the curator is found to be embedded within a complex network of human and algorithmic agents and technical protocols, signalling a shift from online curation to processes of ‘network co-curation’. The critical reflexivity that informs the methodological framework of this research is posited as the differentiator for the production of cultural value in a time when search engines and algorithms are agents of meaning and aesthetic patterns.
Curating the networked image means stepping out of the ‘art filter bubble’ in order to develop a sophisticated knowledge and critique of the aesthetic, economic and sociotechnical conditions that shape the current state of art and culture on the Web – conditions of circulation, commodification and computation.

Year2020
PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.9498z
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Print15 Apr 2020
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Deposited31 Jul 2023
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